Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
Growing up in most Churches and religious institutions, you realize quickly there is a pecking order to who is more important within that organization. Within the local organized Church, everyone knows the Senior Pastor or Priest is the primary leader-the man or woman at the top. What follows is a variety of positions, depending upon the hierarchy your religious flavor has embraced over the years. In some, the youth pastor may be the #2 position. In others, the executive pastor may hold that #2 slot.
Jesus turned this hierarchical placement on its ear, simply and clearly. This isn’t a new message from Jesus. It’s been in the 23rd chapter of Matthew since the Gospels were first discovered. It’s been there all along, yet ignored and dismissed by most everyone who is in the organizational structures of religion.
Jesus says: “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.” (Matthew 23:8-10)
In the past, I’ve read it and known it was here, but just didn’t heed Jesus’ words personally. Without any new insight on what Jesus said, I came into a revolutionary experience of what this must mean for those who want to follow in the steps of Jesus today. I think it can all be summed up in the first line of his words here: “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is yourTeacher, and you are all brothers.” I saw it, when Tamrat and I were writing the new Jesus curriculum, THE WAY. If we are going to be in an ever-changing experience with Jesus, then we must live with one another as brothers and sisters and invite Jesus to be our teacher.
Now, when I gather with other brothers and sisters in a small group, I am looking and listening for Jesus to teach me something through the brothers and sisters in that group. Since I’ve tweaked my thinking, wrapping my brain around that thought, I’m now seeing each person in that group-young or old, new or long-time follower, agnostic, Catholic, Christian or non-Christian-as a dynamic channel through whom Jesus is teaching me. So, in the loosest sense of the term, each person is a “teacher”-a useful instrument of Jesus, himself.
If you knew Jesus would be teaching in a small group near you, wouldn’t you want to be there? Get started today with THE WAY.